- About Us
Startup Grind Triangle will be hosting our first annual regional conference that will feature the area's best entrepreneurs and investors with a few surprises from outside the area. This will be one day of non-stop education, networking, and inspiration that has never been seen in this area before. Successful founders, innovators, educators, and investors share lessons learned on the road to building great companies.
With 300 founders and investors, more than 20 speakers, and over 100 startups, this is Startup Grind Triangle's largest event ever. #startupgrind
Startup Grind Triangle will bring together founders and thought leaders from in and around the Triangle for conversations around the future of technology, investing, building great companies, and what it will take to make this area the next great startup hub in the United States.
Jeff Hoffman a Serial Entrepreneur, Priceline.com, uBid. and ColorJar will anchor our final chat to discuss the future of entrepreneurship. Our VIP Happy Hour will include a 60 minute talk from New York times best selling author Cal Fussman. Before that we'll have a lineup of entrepreneurs and investors from around the Triangle that has never been seen before at any other conference in this region.
Don't miss out on the Triangle's greatest technology conference of 2017.
Jeff Hoffman has been the founder of multiple startups, he has been the CEO of both public and private companies, and he has served as a senior executive in many capacities. Jeff is a Serial Entrepreneur, Priceline.com, uBid. and ColorJar. Today Jeff serves on the boards of companies in the US, Europe, South America, Africa, and Asia. He is a featured business expert seen on Fox News, Fox Business, CNN, CNN International, Bloomberg News, CNBC, ABC, and NPR and in publications including Forbes, Inc., Time, Fast Company, the Wall Street Journal, and more. He most recently released a book....... Outside of the world of technology, Jeff has produced movies in Hollywood, has produced musical events including concerts, tours, and charity events with such artists as Elton John, Britney Spears, NSYNC, and others, and serves on numerous charity and non-profit boards.
Cal Fussman is a New York Times bestselling author, writer-at-large for Esquire Magazine, keynote speaker and corporate culture consultant.
As a highly sought-after speaker, Cal has worked with many companies including Pixar, Lululemon, Vans and Apple Music. His keynotes and interactive workshops, derived from decades of interviewing, inspire organizations to take a new look at the fundamental aspects of their business.
As a writer for Esquire, GQ, Sports Illustrated, ESPN, and The Washington Post Sunday Magazine over the years, he has transformed oral history into an art form, conducting probing interviews with the icons who’ve shaped the last half-century of world history, including: Mikhail Gorbachev, Jimmy Carter, Ted Kennedy, Quincy Jones, Jeff Bezos, Jack Welch, Robert DeNiro, Al Pacino, Muhammad Ali, and hundreds of others. The Austin Chronicle has described Fussman's interviewing skills as "peerless."
David Gardner is a serial entrepreneur, writer, adviser and very early stage investor with nearly thirty years of experience in creating and building software technology companies. He has distilled his experience in a popular book called “The Startup Hats”, and has published many through leadership articles and forward thinking white papers on technical, marketing and managerial topics.
What drives David today is his passionate for helping smart, coachable first-time entrepreneurs, watching them succeed and witnessing their life-changing exits.
As an entrepreneur, David has been the founder or cofounder of multiple successful companies in the Triangle including PeopleClick which was purchased for $100M and Report2Web which sold for $12M in less than eleven months from inception.
He has demonstrated a record for consistency across multiple industries and markets with six successful exits in a row.
As a senior executive, David served as a Vice President for Compuware, a billion dollar Fortune 1000 corporation, after it acquired ProviderLink, a healthcare communications exchange he founded.
He is a life-long learner with degrees in CS, Business, Music Philosophy.
Joy was a founder and senior partner of Entira, a management and marketing consulting firm for agribusiness companies, where she led strategic planning and implemented management and marketing programs with clients, ranging from small start-ups to Fortune 100 industry leaders. She has successfully launched more than 30 new products, ranging from U.S. dairy parlors to global herbicides to spray equipment, guiding product development, pricing strategies, distribution plans, sales training and marketing/promotion planning and execution.
Joy also is actively involved in her family’s grain and purebred livestock operation. She earned a bachelor’s degree in agricultural communications from the University of Illinois and Master of Business Administration from the University of Chicago.
Joe was the co-founder and CEO of Bronto Software. Prior to starting Bronto, Joe was a marketer with Red Hat and a teacher with the U.S. Peace Corps.
Joe is a strong leader and had over a 95% approval rating on Glassdoor during his tenure as CEO.
Joe has a marketing and engineering background. He has an MBA from the University of North Carolina and a undergraduate degree in Computer Science from Harvard University.
Joe was a 2008 winner of the Triangle Business Journal's "40 Under 40" and a 2012 finalist in Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year for the Carolinas.
Joe coded the first version of Bronto and started programming in the early 1980s. In 1983, he ran a BBS called the "Commodore Crusader" with his neighborhood friend. It was awesome.
Experienced and entrepreneurial Energy & Technology Executive, Technologist, and Investor. Strong portfolio company start-up experience covers all phases of the deal cycle and includes: deal sourcing, due diligence & capital structure, investment & active monitoring, and accretive return on invested capital.
Proven record of executive leadership includes venture financing, technology commercialization, strategic partnering and negotiating joint venture relationships. Recognized for strong leadership abilities, excellent interpersonal communication skills including presentation and facilitation, as well as the ability to liaise between business, technical and product development arenas.
Specialties: Venture capital financing, technology commercialization and product development, sales and marketing, business and strategic partner development
Ran multiple Product and Growth teams at Facebook (Pages, AMBER Alerts, Etc)
2x Successful Founder
-Took a mobile app from 1k downloads to 550k+ in 5 weeks
-Invested in company that went from ~10k users to 100k+ in 60 days
-Invested in company that went from $100k MRR to $500k MRR in 100 days
-Advised company that increased unique, organic FB reach from less than 100k/month to 550M+ / month in 10 months (This was ~30% of global FB audience at the time)
Krista Moore is highly recognized as an inspirational speaker and results-oriented Executive Coach. In 2003 she followed her entrepreneurial spirit and founded K.Coaching, Inc., after 20 years of Sales Leadership positions within the Office Products Industry. Krista combines her real life business experiences, certified business coaching, and motivational style to help others achieve outstanding success in their lives and in their careers.
Today, she and her team of certified business coaches are dedicated to helping clients get on the fast-track to sales success. They do this through coaching, consulting, and training programs, focused on building and executing sales strategies, proven sales processes, up-leveling sales skills, and implementing successful sales management systems.
In 2016 Krista launched the IDGrowth Sales Vault™, an online business building learning management system, utilized by thousands of sales professionals, to enhance their sales strategies, training, and leadership development.
Co-author of Roadmap to Success with Ken Blanchard and Stephen Covey
3 year board member of Entrepreneurs Organization (EO) RDU Chapter
2017/2018 Chair EO-RDU Board for GSEA (Global Student Entrepreneur Award)
Co-founder and Chairman of the Board for Office Products Women in Leadership (OPWIL)
Author of Race to Amazing, to be published in 2017
Steve Malik is a visionary entrepreneur with three decades of health information technology experience as a pioneer in patient portals, electronic health records and full risk managed care systems. Currently, he is Executive Chairman of Medfusion, a Cary, NC company he founded in 1996 and re-acquired in August 2013. Prior to this role, Malik was Senior Vice President of Intuit, and President and General Manager of the Intuit Health Group, the company’s fastest-growing business unit. He led the business unit’s initiatives to strengthen the relationship between physician practices and their patients by making communication and the ability to accomplish key tasks better, easier, and more efficient. Malik joined Intuit in May 2010 following their acquisition of Medfusion. In 2010, he was a finalist for Ernst and Young Entrepreneur of the Year.
Under Malik’s leadership, Medfusion has grown from a medical website development company to the leading provider of enhanced healthcare communication solutions. His vision created a portfolio of solutions that let healthcare providers offer superior service to their patients while improving office efficiency and generating revenue. The US government now requires Malik’s vision in legislation to digitize the industry while including the patient to reduce costs.
Steve has held senior leadership positions in publicly traded companies and ownership equity positions in several entrepreneurial firms since the dawn of the health information technology industry starting with practice management systems in the eighties.
Malik earned a bachelor’s degree in business administration with honors from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. He is the principle in a venture capital firm investing in software and environmentally friendly technology opportunities primarily in the Southeast US. Steve has 4 children and enjoys soccer, fishing and sailing in his free time.
Ai continues to be recognized in the industry, landing on the Triangle Business Journal’s Best Places to Work list four years running (2012-15), winning NC Tech Awards in 2014 (New Media/Digital Company) and 2013 (Most Innovative Internet/New Media Company), and being an NC Tech Awards finalist in 2012 (Most Innovative Technology Company).
In 2014, Robbie led Ai through its acquisition by Vista Equity Partners, one of the world's top private equity firms. This was the first acquisition in the natural language generation space. Ai continues to operate independently under Robbie's leadership as it leverages new resources to advance its groundbreaking technology.
Robbie started writing code to automate the writing process while working at Cisco, where he was a Distinguished Engineer, the company's top technical position. He has two engineering Master's degrees from MIT and has authored or co-authored ten books about enterprise software and software development.
Igor Jablokov is an Entrepreneur-in-Residence for Blackstone North Carolina, a regional initiative funded by the Blackstone Foundation, Duke University, North Carolina State University, and The University of North Carolina, to aid in the commercialization of their academic research. He is also a Venture Partner with the early stage Silicon Valley and New York City-based Rubicon Venture Capital, a Limited Partner with the Dreamit Ventures accelerator, and a member of the Carolina Angel Network. Igor serves on the board for the Research Triangle Park-based Council for Entrepreneurial Development, advises The Pennsylvania State University's College of Engineering and the World Economic Forum’s Global Shapers. He was awarded Eisenhower and Truman National Security Fellowships to research the role of innovation ecosystems in fostering nation building.
Previously, Igor was the Founder and Chief Executive Officer of Yap, an institutionally-funded venture that pioneered cloud-based speech recognition. Its technology was deployed by numerous customers, Microsoft and Sprint being examples, and received accolades for their inventions, including being named North Carolina’s Early Stage Company of the Year and as a finalist at the first ever TechCrunch conference. The firm was subsequently acquired by Amazon to act as the nucleus for products such as the Alexa Voice Services cloud, the Echo speaker, and the Fire TV set top box. Entering the artificial intelligence market could add over $10 billion in revenue to the Company by the year 2020.
As Program Director of IBM's multimodal research group, Igor led the team that invented the world’s first ever speech-enabled Web browser. With over two dozen patents issued and pending, he was named an industry luminary by Speech Technology Magazine and an outstanding engineering alumnus of his alma mater. Igor holds a BS in Computer Engineering from The Pennsylvania State University and an MBA from The University of North Carolina.
Dr, Doug Kaufman is a serial entrepreneur and the CEO of TransLoc Inc, in Durham, NC, with a mission of making transit the first choice for all. Under Doug’s leadership TransLoc has increased it’s product line, its team has grown considerably, its customer base has spiked, and the company is well-positioned to become a leader in transit technology.
Doug is the founder of multiple companies, such as clearTXT, one of the leading providers of mobile communication for colleges and universities, and Spring Engage (formerly Spring Metrics) providing behavior analytics for e-commerce companies, allowing companies to make better marketing decisions and grow revenue.
Doug also created AlleyDog.com, an educational resource center for psychology students. AlleyDog.com was created in the late 1990's while Doug was obtaining his PhD in Social Psychology. Although originally created for Doug's students, AlleyDog.com gained widespread popularity, and now millions of students around the world depend on AlleyDog.com as an essential resource in their learning.
Doug was an early team member at Blackboard. As the Director of Product Development he developed and managed a 250+ discipline-specific online educational resource center. He was also instrumental in key development initiatives for the flagship e-learning platform
Currently I am the President & CEO of Bernard, a company providing inbound and outbound telesales, customer service and billing support as well as the Vice President- General Manager of LiveAnswer, a communications platform recently acquired by Stericycle.
In addition to my for-profit work, I am the President of the Raleigh Durham chapter of Entrepreneurs’ Organization (EO), Chairman of Jobs4America, a coalition of businesses working together to create 100,000 U.S.-based jobs and the Entrepreneur-in-Residence for the National Military Spouse Network, an organization committed to providing resources to this overeducated and underemployed population.
Prior to Bernard, I have founded and operated businesses in a number of industries. I founded Red Sky Productions which went on to provide talent to Broadway’s Annie Get Your Gun and to produce the stage show Tribe with the producer of Rent, earning recognition from Variety as “perhaps the greatest concentration of American Indian talent ever assembled.” I founded The Brand Foundry, providing marketing services to governments and tour operators in the Caribbean, Central America and Mexico which led to me serving as the COO of The Original Canopy Tour, franchising a small eco-tourism experience in Costa Rica to Jamaica, Belize, Mexico and Nicaragua. I also co-founded and served as president of Bulk TV & Internet, providing affordable cable services to hotels, apartments and assisted living facilities.
A passionate and forward-thinking leader with nearly 30 years of experience in software and technology, Dude Solutions co-founder Lee Prevost serves as Chief Strategy Officer and a member of the board. Lee works closely with the executive team to set the vision, mission and strategies for Dude Solutions and is responsible for identifying growth opportunities that drive significant value across the company. He co-founded and launched SchoolDude with CEO Kent Hudson in 1999 and FacilityDude in 2007. Serving as SchoolDude’s president for 15 years, Lee has been pivotal to developing Dude Solutions into an enterprise asset management leader. Prior to SchoolDude, he worked for Applied Computer Technologies (ACT) and Honeywell Home and Building Controls. Lee earned his Bachelor of Science degree in Electrical Engineering from North Carolina State University.
Seasoned IT Professional
Certified Project Management Professional (PMP)
Distinguished Toastmaster (DTM)
Nationally recognized public speaker
6 years on Strategic Advisory Board, NCSU Computer Science
Advisory Board, Wake Technical Community College
1 year as Subject Matter Expert for Project Management Institute (Global)
Specialties: Software Development, entrepreneurship, high stakes presentations, investor pitches, Unix, SAS, SOX, Sarbanes Oxley, IT auditing, IT security audits, outsourcing
He is the former Founder & COO of Bronto Software which was acquired by NetSuite, Inc. (NYSE: N) in June 2015 for $200 million. Bronto, a commerce marketing automation software company, was boot-strapped to over $50m in revenue and a staff of 300 with offices in Durham, North Carolina, New York, NY, Santa Monica, CA, London, United Kingdom and Sydney, Australia. For fourteen years, Chaz led the software company's operations and revenue growth. Following the sale, he spent a year transitioning the business to NetSuite. Chaz is a past finalist for the Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year for the Carolinas and is a member of the Entrepreneurs' Organization.